Home » Steven Merrill

Steven Merrill

Steven Merrill


B.S. Biochemistry, California State San Bernardino 2016, Magna Cum Laude

From: Chino, California

Joined David Lab: January 2019

Outside of lab: Exploring the Davis area with my wife, exercising, or catching up on the latest Marvel project (:

Research in the David Lab:

Oxidative DNA damage requires repairment to maintain genomic integrity. The Base excision repair pathway is initiated to remove undesirable nucleobases and inserts proper nucleobase. The pathway is initiated by a class of enzymes known as DNA glycosylases- initiation occurs following the identification and excision of an aberrant nucleobase. In case of the DNA glycosylase MutY, MUTYH in humans, the base to be removed is adenine following it’s misplacement across an oxidized guanine during replication. My work in the David lab is aimed to further explore and develop a model for early nucleobase identification and verification- processes that occur prior to but demonstrate to be influential in set up for proper catalysis. Specific residues investigated as part of this work are in conserved motifs of various MutY orthologues and curiously a subset of these residues have variants in which there is a suspicion of elevated cancer susceptibility. My work has a combined structural, biochemical and cellular components to propose a comprehensive understanding of particular regions of interest within MutY.

RSS Science Daily News

  • Down goes antimatter! Gravity's effect on matter's elusive twin is revealed September 27, 2023
    For the first time, in a unique laboratory experiment at CERN, researchers have observed individual atoms of antihydrogen fall under the effects of gravity. In confirming antimatter and regular matter are gravitationally attracted, the finding rules out gravitational repulsion as the reason why antimatter is largely missing from the observable universe.
  • Decreasing biodiversity may promote spread of viruses September 27, 2023
    How are environmental changes, loss of biodiversity, and the spread of pathogens connected? The answer is a puzzle. Researchers have now described one piece of that puzzle, showing that the destruction of tropical rainforests harms the diversity of mosquito species. At the same time, more resilient species of mosquitoes become more prevalent -- which also […]
  • Study sheds new light on strange lava worlds September 27, 2023
    In a new study, scientists have shown that sweeping molten oceans have a large influence on the observed properties of hot rocky Super-Earths, such as their size and evolutionary path.
  • New insights into the atmosphere and star of an exoplanet September 25, 2023
    A new study of the intriguing TRAPPIST-1 exoplanetary system has demonstrated the complex interaction between the activity of the system's star and its planetary features.
  • Did life exist on Mars? Other planets? With AI's help, we may know soon September 25, 2023
    Scientists have discovered a simple and reliable test for signs of past or present life on other planets -- 'the holy grail of astrobiology.' Researchers report that, with 90% accuracy, their artificial intelligence-based method distinguished modern and ancient biological samples from those of abiotic origin.


Dr. Sheila S. David

Department of Chemistry
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616